Some 34 million children around the world suffer from hearing loss. The earlier in a child’s life a hearing loss occurs, the more serious the effects on their development.
children around the world suffer from hearing loss
There are four key ways in which hearing loss affects children:
The earlier the problem is detected and treatment started, the less serious the impact will be.
While hearing loss is relatively common among newborn babies, it can affect their ability to develop speech, language and social skills. Most newborn babies in the US have their hearing checked before they leave hospital. However, if a newborn isn’t screened at hospital then testing should be carried out before they are one month old. Babies born with hearing loss have what is called congenital hearing loss. However, hearing loss can also develop later on in babies or during childhood and adulthood.
If your baby shows signs of hearing loss, get their hearing tested as soon as possible.
The impact of hearing loss in children
These factors can have a significant impact on a child’s academic achievements. Unless there is early enough intervention:
The academic achievement between children with hearing loss and those with normal hearing will usually continue to widen as the children progresses through school.
While hearing loss is often associated with occurring at birth or as a result of old age, hearing loss in young adults and teens is also common. Almost 15% of children and young adults aged between six and 19 have some degree of hearing loss. Some of this is due to injury or medical conditions. However, it can also be linked to lifestyle. A study found that 12.5% of young people experience hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) as a result of listening to loud music at high volumes through earbuds.
Children who are identified as having a hearing loss early and begin to receive treatment and support can develop language that is in line with their normal hearing peers. Early family-centred support is particularly important in promoting language and cognitive development. Meanwhile, an audiologist will evaluate your child’s hearing and suggest the most appropriate intervention and treatment. This could include:
Whatever their age, if you suspect that your child may have a hearing loss, it’s crucial that you address it right away. This will help to avoid it interfering with their development, academics and social life as they get older.
It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.